Theme Of Magical Realism In A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings

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Columbian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez is widely known for popularizing the magical realism genre; in his short story “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” he utilizes magical realism by combining supernatural events into everyday situations and in doing so emphasizes different people’s reactions to the unknown. A husband and wife, Pelayo and Elisenda, discover an old man with enormous wings that has mysterious fallen into their courtyard. Looking for an explanation the couple asks the wise neighbor women who deems the creature an angel. Out of curiosity and desire to be entertained many villagers come to see the angel, but it is only the couple’s child who is not degrading to him. Marquez’s utilizes setting to develop a sense of magical realism which he uses to explore how the villagers affront the value of respect in their interactions with the angel while the child reflects it, illustrating how different people react to the unknown. The opening paragraph of the short story presents a realistic setting with several supernatural elements which are curiously not questioned by the characters. It had already been raining for the last three days and the “sea and sky were a single ash gray thing” (Marquez 1). The extended period of rain and unnatural darkness suggests that the world’s behavior is unnatural. In addition, there have swarms of crabs coming from the sea and entering the house which the couple does not find strange, but rather they view as an annoyance (1).
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